Photograph of Prince Charles reading a book, possibly Sex, Surrealism, Dali and Me.

Prince Charles and the Lost Copyright

Has Prince Charles read Sex, Surrealism, Dali and Me? Seeing how he was for a brief time the copyright owner, I rather like to think that he has and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I wrote ‘Sex, Surrealism, Dali and Me’ long before I became cynical and had the rare pleasure of reading the translated version in Spanish […]

sunflowers painted by van-gogh

The Secret Life of Sunflowers

On Monday I bought two sunflowers at the market and planted them in a pot outside our house. Everyone who passes sees their smiling yellow faces and smiles back. Sunflowers know the secret of life is to follow the sun. The Sun God Apollo once fell in love with a water nymph named Clytie. When his […]

creating great characters is like sculpting a figure from clay

Great Characters come from the Genes of the Writer

Great characters aren’t created. They are born from the genes of the writer: the writer’s passions and experience, desires and obsessions, that oil-and-water blend of self-confidence and self-doubt every writer carries.  Beating in the chests of great characters are big hearts, genuine concerns and fatal flaws. They may set out on the wrong path, but […]

quotation one writing first paragraphs by Hunter J Thompson

From the First to the Last Paragraph

I have put off writing this piece for some time because I couldn’t think of a first paragraph. In this I detect a common dilemma. Reading through a collection of short stories recently, I realised that several were rather good – except for the first paragraph, the one sculpted to such perfection they said nothing […]